Sustainability as domain in integrated desing
In the Bachelor students learn about integrated design, shifting between different scales like urban and detail and shifting between different domains like construction, detailing and climate control. During design process an architect has to focus on all these domains and scales at the same time or shift between them very rapidly. In my opinion this is the only way to make a proper design and the faculty succeeds in tutoring this way of designing.
In the Bachelor I experienced that the university takes sustainability seriously, almost every design project requires a sustainable component in the final result. I noticed that in most cases this sustainability plays only a part in the end, the whole design is near to finished and the presentation is due in a week. Only then the students start thinking about sustainability, resulting in putting solar panels on the roof, an underground heath storage and a green roof.
This is not the way it should be. First, it is very simplistic to say that those techniques make a normal building a sustainable building. Sustainability also comes from using materials that last long, or materials that are processed in the nearby area. Maybe waste materials from nearby industries can be of value for the building. Sustainability could also mean that the building can be used for a very long time. This results in a building that is able to change function easily.
Besides the fact that sustainability is not simply about putting PV-panels on the roof, sustainability should be part of the integral design. Therefore sustainability should be one of the domains like construction, climate control and building technology, so that the designer constantly focusses on sustainability as well as construction. This way from beginning to the end, sustainability is been taken care of and part of the whole design.